New fitness center to be named after alumni donors

Melissa Spencer September 14, 2017 0

May 1, 2017, alumni Kenneth L. and Rosalie E. Bowers, ’59 and ’58, respectively, pledged to contribute five million dollars to Elizabethtown College’s BE Inspired Campaign.

In recognition and honor of their support of the College community, the new 23.4-million-dollar sports facility will be named after the Bowers family as The Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Wellness.

With an anticipated size of more than 78,000 square feet, The Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Wellness will host cardio, strength and conditioning rooms, an indoor track, intramural and club sports, intercollegiate athletics, group fitness studios, classrooms, a café, a spin studio, meeting places for students, athletic treatment areas and office space for the health educators on campus.

In a letter addressed to the College community, President Carl J. Strikwerda quoted K. Bowers’ passion for the College and its surrounding community.

“Rosalie and I have admired Elizabethtown College over the past 62 years, first as students and then as alumni,” K. Bowers said.

“In short, we are very proud of this institution and are pleased to provide financial support for its continued growth and development. We have always been impressed with the College’s mission of educating students for service above self.”

With this donation from the Bowers family, more than $45 million has been raised for the BE Inspired Campaign, which includes $37 million in cash and cash commitments, with an additional eight million dollars in bequest expectancies. The BE Inspired Campaign holds a total goal of $50 million.

According to the College’s website, the BE Inspired Campaign is “a journey that will inspire our entire community to reach higher and go farther than we ever have as a college.”

Currently, the BE Inspired Campaign pledges its commitment to the growth of Etown students, specifically their academic, physical, emotional, social and vocational successes and growth.

“Fulfilling Dreams,” “Transforming Lives” and “Building Community” are the three sections of the campaign, with $16.25, $12.5 and $21.25 million respectfully distributed to each section. The Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Wellness falls under the “Building Community” portion of the campaign, and is allotted 15 million of the 21.25 million dollars.

“[The Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Wellness] defines our commitment to student growth and development through a fully integrated program of athletics, recreation and health and wellness,” the College’s website stated.

“Combined, experiences in these programs promote life-long commitments to physical, emotional and spiritual health.”

The donors, K. and R. Bowers, met on the College’s campus in 1955, both earning bachelor’s degrees from Etown. After graduation, K. Bowers earned his master’s degree in communications from the Pennsylvania State University and R. Bowers earned her master’s degree in library science from Drexel University.

In addition to The Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Wellness, the Bowers Writers House is also named after the Bowers family. The College dedicated the Bowers Writers House to the Bowers family in recognition of an earlier gift.

For more information on The Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Wellness, the BE Inspired Campaign or the Bowers Family, please visit


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